Juggling dizzying climaxes, fluttering guitars and feel good eagerness, SPINN have delivered an album built upon Buddha’s liberating teachings while, meanwhile, looking to break free from any predetermined labels on their second LP Outside of the Blue via Modern Sky UK.
SPINN is collectively vocalist Johnny Quinn, guitarist Luke Brickett, Sean McLachlan on bass and Louis O’Reilly on drums. The quartet have shared the same sticky, indie floors as The Slow Readers Club and Circawaves while also finding themselves on numerous festival lineups, including Reading and Leeds, Dot to Dot and Truck.
Where others in their place, burdened with the pressures of delivering a follow-up record, may feel conditioned to imitate trends of the soul tugging, SPINN respectively coaxes Outside of the Blue into a more hopeful space. A romantic clarity heard early on tracks ‘I Believe in Love’ and ‘Daydreaming’.
Themes of anxiety and depression are present yet kept in a separate box labelled ‘the blue’ so as to keep them detached. Title track ‘Outside of the Blue’ was born from a personally experienced panic attack. The lyrics are a signpost to the shapeshifting songwriting capabilities of the band as they transform what could’ve been a song of intense anxiety into a piece of acceptance and appreciation.
The alternatively plugged ‘People Should Know Better’ is a track that touches on what sometimes feels like timeless frustrations of the British public. Frontman Quinn describes the track as “a critique of the government and how people in office have handled the country in the last couple of years”.
Midpoint track ‘Getaway’ uses a drum machine-style dampened measure, another direction for the band’s usual timekeeping. The reverb fused, present sonics and heavily melodic guitar lines are reminiscent of sparkly British 80’s rock. The rapid, somersaulting yet gentle strumming of thinner strings against the richness of the bass guitar means both instruments hold their own in the clean mix of tracks like the earworm that is ‘Stargazing’. Sometimes elements work closely yet never feel overbearing, parts never integrating too much into each other’s pockets. The guitar and vocal melody following the same melodic path on intro ‘Hello,’ seamlessly shifting into an instrumental build-up. An overall unconventional way to start a record with a track you would habitually find at the tail end of a full length.
Written by Emma Way
Photo by Barnaby Fairley